Category Archives: science shelf

Big Ol’ Leaves

While living in Kansas for seven years,
we picked up a few habits.
A love for basketball, for one.
My husband became a Duke University fan,
mostly in opposition to his students
who were ardent Kansas University Jayhawk fans.
We also picked up drinking iced tea, not sweet though.
Although we left in 1994, occasionally a y’all will slip out now and then.
I also picked up this strange affinity for hedge apples,
although the first time I saw I thought it looked like a tennis ball.
Once I kicked it and nearly broke several toes, I realized
it’s NOT as light as a tennis ball.
But, the all time, most favoritest thing we brought back from KS-
saying big ol’!
You don’t catch a fish, you catch a big ol’ fish.
Nobody has a large dog, they have a big ol’ dawg.
Imagine my surprise in moving to the Pacific Northwest
and seeing my first  Big Leaf Maple.
When the leaves began to fall, I felt like I had to duck.
There’s no better way to describe these puppies than by calling them
 big ol’ leaves.
Some are bigger than a dinner plate.
This year, we had to get some
big ol’ Maple leaves to decorate.
We had to go for a walk.
one sunny fall day in the beautiful PNW.
(I love Science class!)
Beka always has to walk with a wicker basket
hanging gracefully over her arm when we go on nature walks.
I think she’s seen too many Jane Austen movies
to ever live a normal life again.
When we came home, we tucked our finds into our flower press.
My oldest daughter, Jana, made this at Bible camp years ago.
It’s been well loved.

A few days later, they were dry.
Because my laminating sheets are 81/2 X 11,
I had to choose smaller BLM leaves to fit in the laminating pouches.
Hot off the press!

Once I trimmed around the edges,
they were ready to add some color to my
big ol’ Fall mantle.
 Some of the leaves I let dry crinkly

to add some texture and interest to the display.

 Remember, these aren’t the

biggestbig ol’ Big Leaf Maple leaves,
these are just the punks that could fit in my laminator.
Still dreaming about how to
flatten and laminate the
biggest big ol’ BLM leaves!

I’m thinking this week I’ll pick some more
big ol’ Big Leaf Maple leaves.
I think my big ol’ sister, Laurie, ya’ll know,
the ones that lives down in Kansas,
would like to decorate this fall with some
big ol’ laminated leaves.

Maybe, she’ll be so happy with her
big ol’ older sister,
she’ll send me a box of hedge apples.
Of course, I’ll use them for display,
not soccer practice.

If you don’t have access to laminating,
my sister in law dried her leaves,
dipped them in melted paraffin,
then let them air dry.

For generations, people ironed leaves between
waxed paper.

Dried leaves can be modge-podged onto
paper mache pumpins, glass jars,
and anything else your heart desires.

The best part about decorating with leaves?
They’re free!


Continuing the Science Shelf Tradition

Last year I started the tradition of a
Go ahead, click on the link, I know you wanna’.
Well, that shelf got hijacked for a Christmas project.
I’ve been buying little plastic vintage things for a few years,
and I finally had enough to fill the spaces.
The stuff is down on my craft counter,
waiting for the magical slot of time to appear
so I can complete the project.
Any hoo –
This Science project was started partly because through the years
I’ve developed a personal aversion
to reading a few pages and answering a few questions.
If the teacher is bored, the kids are bored.
The Abeka Science book is good,
but I needed to
and  taste,
But it really started when I was diagnosed with cancer
 and Rebekahn was barely two years old.
For physical and mental health issues,
we began taking walks around the neighborhood,
watching ants,
smelling flowers,
picking up pine cones,
enjoying the wonderful world the Lord created,
and bringing home treasures.
I finally figured out an attractive way to display our precious finds.
(click on pic to enlarge, if you wanna’)
This year I found a new shelf at a garage sale.
The bottle on the left filled with green is a simple experiment,
the oil and water one, with a few random cute things floating
in the water for good measure.
Didja’ know self proclaimed Science Geeks,
like to do Science projects during a play date?
I got ambitious and spray painted the Scrabble tile holders black.
Yea, I’m matchy-matchy like that.
The dishes may be piled high, your feet may stick to my floor,
but I’m doing something irrelevant because I want it to match.
The cool wood chips are from a beaver.
During a nature walk on a trail along the river,
we found a tree a beaver was in the process of chopping down.
We brought home a few chewed slivers for a souvenir.
 See this beauty?
Some snake left its outer layer on a rock  in Montana
and I had to bring them both home.
Rebekah wasn’t too happy about being “this” Science geeky,
she told me politely she prefers plant science.
But, the shelf awaits our adventure.
When the PNW brings us a sunbreak,
we’ll grab a wicker basket,
maybe load up our monkies in the stroller,
and take off to
explore and experience
The shelf will temporarily display our treasures,
our minds will contain the knowledge,
but our hearts will always cherish the memories.